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Data Model - Hero of Your Story, Sorry, Project!

This post asserts the importance of the "data model" for building sophisticated apps on PaaS

This post is an elaboration of one of the features of Visual PaaS, i.e., data model designer. Here the full list of features.

Visual PaaS (meta-data PaaS) is purpose built for developing business applications like Order Management, CRM, Dealer Management Systems, Claims Processing - type applications. In such applications, the success of the project is determined by the strength of the "data model" created by your solution architect/designer.

In our experience in building very complex enterprise applications for large conglomerates, like Unilever, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Citi Group, we have realized the importance of defining a comprehensive "Data Model".

As you know this is a no-brainier decision. Still, to our surprise in most projects that follow the conventional programming based development approach using Java or .NET or even other modern programming languages like Ruby or Python, the solution designer at best designs the high-level definition of the "data model." Most of the details of the data model is added dynamically by the developer during coding phase. Yes, design is added when coding. And yeah, it is wrong but that's what happens in reality. Does anyone want to challenge this?  Also, the sad part is, without a good design it is possible for the developer to complete the functionality required by writing some procedural code. Obviously, this is a clear compromise of the Object Orientation. But, who has the time and energy to dig to this level of details in a large project. Often these issues crop up as defects and inconsistent app behaviors and are fixed through incremental workarounds and putting bandages around the wounds!

At OrangeScape, we simply want IT Project Managers, Solution Architects/Solution Designers to succeed and have greater transparency into the nuts and bolts of the project they are in charge of. We made the "Data Model" the hero of our story, sorry project  - the center of our universe - the true position it deserves.  And we brought in constraints that forces a definition of every aspect of the data model needed for your project. I see what you are thinking. Surely, there is some loss of flexibility but I argue that it's a necessary one, without which you are leaving a rope long enough for your coder to hang.

In OrangeScape Studio, you start out by defining the data model. That is the very first step you do.  And, any time you add additional functional capabilities you have to ensure that the data model is enriched. OrangeScape Studio is designed to handle very large enterprise application's data modeling needs. I am including few sample screen shots of for you to get some peek into the "Data Model" perspective of OrangeScape Studio!

Whole Project Summary View

Single Model View

More Stories By Suresh Sambandam

After an initial entrepreneurial stint for three years at the age of 19, Suresh Sambandam went on to work at Hewlett-Packard. Later, Suresh joined Selectica and rose to senior position, as Director of e-Insurance product division in a short-span. The e-Insurance division and its products were later acquired by Accenture. Suresh is a technocrat specializing in product engineering with expertise in software architecture for complex enterprise applications, inference engines, configuration engines, rule-based computing and enterprise middleware. He has applied for multiple patents. Suresh is passionate about entrepreneurship, technology startups and spends a significant amount of personal time in the start-up ecosystem in Chennai. Suresh is a member of the National Council for Emerging Companies Forum and also a core committee member of Product Forum at NASSCOM. He also does mentoring for budding entrepreneurs at IIT Bombay, E-Cell. Suresh is a regular speaker at various industry forums & academic institutions.

Suresh is the Founder & CEO of OrangeScape. OrangeScape is a platform (PaaS - Platform as a Service) to develop process oriented business applications that can be deployed "On Cloud" and "On Premise". OrangeScape supports platforms like Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure as cloud deployment option and Microsoft .Net and J2EE as on-premise deployment options. OrangeScape has 50+ customers including global brands like Unilever, Citibank, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Fullterton, etc. OrangeScape in the only Indian company has been featured in the PaaS research reports of Forrester and Gartner. OrangeScape has been featured as 'India's Rising Tech Stars' by Forbes(US) magazine. OrangeScape was showcased as one of the 3 emerging product companies in India by Nasscom and was also awarded 'Top IT Innovations' for 2 consecutive years.

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